A Note from our CEO, Alison Edwards:

The 2021 Hate Activity Report was released last week. While I am happy to see a slight decrease in hate motivated crimes, overall the report shows that, when crimes and incidents are combined, our upward trend continues.

Our rise in hate activity reflects the growing division in our nation and resulting dehumanization of one another. The division was heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely be fueled again as we head into elections this fall.

I won’t pretend that I know exactly how to bridge these gaps and diligently pursue a more equitable future. But I have a few ideas.

First, make a commitment to honor the humanity of others, especially when we are odds. This is not a plea for civility per se, but an ask to deeply hold that we are each human first and that in our humanity we bring our experiences – our hurt, love, disappointments, shame and our successes and failures – with us always. So please, let’s do our best to see the human before the label. Then we can disagree on issues, not whether we each have inherent value.

Second, join me in changing our notion that diversity and equity are things to be managed or dealt with to the understanding that we all do better when we have diverse groups and organizations that provide space for great ideas to flourish and people to grow and thrive not despite who they are but because of the unique talent and experiences they have.

Lastly, let’s support the big changes that we need to foster equity and fight hate. We are grateful for the anti-hate initiative that the County of Orange funded that has expanded in language services for reporting and support. AND let’s surround those changes with sustained efforts to invite more and more people and leaders to understand the need for this kind of change so that these kinds of policies can be sustained over time.

To better understand hate in Orange County you can watch a summary of the report here or read the report here (webinar will be uploaded soon). You can also report hate activity any number of ways in multiple languages, start here at the Hate Hurts Us All website.

Thank you for all you do to build an OC where everyone knows they belong.